Holiday baking has begun! Spicy, pumpkin-y, deliciousness all wrapped up in one little whoopie pie. Smooth cream cheese frosting sandwiched between two moist, fluffy pumpkin cookies. Amazing.
What’s the history of the whoopie pie? The legend goes that Amish women would send them with the farmers in their lunch and upon discovery, they would say “whoopie!” And I think these delightful fall-inspired pumpkin whoopie pies will inspire the same exclamation!
Make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
Using a melon baller (or teaspoon), drop approx 48 heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.
Make the filling: Sift confectioner’ sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)
Assemble the whoopie pies: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.
Over the holidays, my sis had this brilliant (and slightly insane) idea of making the 12 days of Christmas into sugar cookies to give as family gifts to our cousins, aunts and uncles. She labored over each and every design and came up with a creative representation of each day.
She made patterns for each shape out of parchment paper and hand cut with a paring knife each and every cookie. She, my mom and I made 12 batches of 12 days. If I remember my basic multiplication tables correct, that is a total of 144 cookies, folks! We dipped, sprinkled, piped, dabbed, until we though our arms and backs would fall off. I think we enjoyed making them more than the people enjoyed receiving and eating them.
We had quite an assembly line going. It looked somewhere between Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and an explosion at C&H Sugar company. And I was afraid my puppy was going to go into a sugar coma from all the ‘licks’ at the floor. ha!
I can’t even tell you how many times we sang the song through as we were hand cutting. You just kind of can’t help it. When you see the pics you’ll want to sing it too – just to make sure we got them all and in the right order.
And as a random photo for your enjoyment. Here are some mini vanilla/vanilla cupcakes I made for the holidays. My sis gave me some nonpareils for Christmas and I wanted to see how they’d look if I dipped the cupcakes into them and made little rounded tops. They were cute. And tasted good. A little different texture than the standard buttercream swirls my cupcakes usually get. Fun stuff.
These are amazing and addictive! I made them for my family’s Christmas Party as a last minute idea since I didn’t have enough time to make the casserole I was originally planning to make. I didn’t have any white chocolate chips on hand, so I just made them with a mix of milk, semi-sweet, and bittersweet chocolate and no one could tell the difference. They turned out just as well! I also didn’t do the drizzle over the top (lazy!). They were such a hit that I decided to make a second batch for Christmas Eve.
Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Makes approx 30 cookies.
Recipe from Bon Appetit, December 2004 courtesy of Epicurious.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
2 ounces milk chocolate or white chocolate, chopped (for drizzling)
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in all chocolate chips and cranberries.
Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are light brown, about 16 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.
Stir chopped milk chocolate in top of double boiler until melted and smooth. Using small spoon, drizzle melted chocolate over cookies in zigzag pattern. Let stand until milk chocolate sets, about 1 hour. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)